Some of the Players
Jim Peek is a recently retired wildlife professor from the University of Idaho, who has hunted and fished in the Clearwater forest for years. "Over the last century what we have seen is dramatic change in the Clearwater. We have taken a look at the records... the change from shrub fields on the winter ranges... into pole sized timber is dramatic. There's thousands and thousands of acres that have changed. It's not apparent to a person living in the country... but if you leave the country and come back twenty years later, then it becomes apparent. This slow progression from the shrub fields into the conifer timbers is very apparent."
"You have to ask first, what is best for the land? What do we know about this land and how should we treat it? I would like to see us document more. If there's a great failing in our contemporary management, we are not doing as good a job of monitoring, and I think it gets us into severe trouble. We don't have an information base that we can use to explain to our critics..."
"Everyone has an opinion, including me, and I don't think my opinion is better than any body else's. I think we have to have information that's applicable to the site, and we should use that to guide us. Somebody's off-the-wall advice is certainly worthwhile, but I think we need to go out and gather information."
"The Forest Service has a huge credibility problem. The only way they can address it is by acquiring information and providing examples of the way they'd like to do things, so that they can get some people a little more confident about what they really want to do..."
"There's a huge clientele they have to deal with. A lot of us local Idahoans would like to write off the rest of the nation and we find out real quick that there's many, many eyeballs on the Clearwater National Forest that are nowhere near it."
"There's only so much manipulation that you can do with good ole Mother Nature. Then you find out there are forces there that we can't deal with. Plant succession and fire are two of them that come to mind in the Clearwater."